Monday, June 24, 2013

Blog Tour: A Thyme to Die by Joyce & Jim Lavene (Review and Guest Post)

About A Thyme to Die

Peggy Lee and her gardening friends have managed to persuade the International Flower Show to move to Charlotte from Atlanta this year. Excited and enthusiastic, Peggy agrees to step into the role as director of the event, but on opening day, a good friend of hers is found dead in the middle of the show.

Dr. Aris Abbuto, an orchid grower from South Africa, has been shot and buried in a makeshift grave covered with pink thyme. Peggy is especially devastated since he came at her personal invitation. The presence of the pink thyme, a plant once used for ancient burial rites, tells her it’s possible one of the show’s growers may be involved in his death.

She plans to work with the Charlotte Police on this one, in her position of contract forensic botanist, and is surprised to learn of the Charlotte FBI’s interest in the case—which means her husband, Steve is involved too.

Peggy is focused on finding her friend’s killer and running the flower show with hundreds of sometimes disgruntled vendors. Her questions will find a devious plot with her friend and his young daughter, unwittingly, at the heart of it.

Asking the wrong questions can be dangerous, however, as Peggy knows so well. If she isn’t careful, finding her friend’s killer might also lead to a flower-covered grave for her.

My Review

This is the sixth book in the Peggy Lee Gardening Mystery series and the first one I ever read.  For someone like me, who is obsessed with reading series in order, I've been reading many out of order because of review requests and blog tours.  I don't want to make this a habit, but so far, it hasn't ruined the reading experience for me.  This is another book that I fell in love with immediately.

First, I love Peggy.  She's the owner of a gardening shop and moonlights as a forensic botanist.  A strong, smart and feisty sleuth.  Her husband, a police officer, was killed many years ago and now she's re-married to an FBI agent, Steve.  Her son and his wife are about to give her a grandchild and life couldn't be better.

When Peggy organizes a local flower show, she has her hands full with more than organizing a show.  A friend of hers is found dead and Peggy is immediately on the case.  She's determined to find out who killed him and why.

It's a roller coaster ride for Peggy, her friends and the FBI as they go through clue after clue to figure this out.  Another fast-paced cozy series to add to my "must read" list.

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

For reading challenges:
Cruisin' Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge
2013 E-Book Reading Challenge

Buy Link:  Amazon
Guest Post

1.  Who is your greatest influence in your writing career?

Joyce: Probably my grandfather. He was the first one to take me seriously as a writer. He was also the first person to tell me that I could be a great writer someday, if I worked at it hard enough!
Jim: I would have to say all the great authors whose stories I read growing up in Chicago. I loved Poul Anderson and Andre Norton, H.Beam Piper, E.E. Doc Smith and others. I read everything I could get my hands on. Reading was my salvation and in time, became my inspiration. I wanted to be like those writers who made my world so great.

2.  What made you write cozy mysteries?

Joyce: I have always loved mysteries. Cozy mysteries appeal to me because they are more like real life would be. The nosy snoops and troublemakers, clumsy cops and neighbors that could get angry enough to kill someone. That’s my world.
Jim: I like them because cats have central roles and I love cats!
We enjoy writing the Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries because we are both Master Gardeners and love learning more about plants.

3.  Where do your ideas come from ?

Joyce and Jim: Everywhere – newspaper articles, driving down the back roads, overhearing conversations at restaurants. There are always so many ideas – too many. We have to write them down and work through them, trying to find the diamond in the rough that we can polish and give to our readers.

4.  Are any of your characters based on real-life people?

Joyce and Jim: Definitely! We have killed off all of our daughter’s old boyfriends and some not-so-nice neighbors. We’ve written our friends into better parts as museum curators, gardeners, historians and others. Everyone wants to be the killer, for some reason. That’s why we have to decide what role they will play!

About the Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, best-selling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at


  1. Thanks for hosting part of our blog tour, Yvonne!

  2. This sounds great! And I love that they've killed off a few of their daughter's ex-boyfriends. I can relate to that, lol.

  3. Enjoyed the Q&A and how you got rid of your daughter's old boyfriends. :)

  4. Enjoyed your Q&A and how you got rid of your daughter's old boyfriends. ;)

  5. One of my favorite themes for cozies - gardening ad gardens, or florists. This one looks very good.

  6. Fun post today! I need to read more cozies....

  7. I love these guys! They are the sweetest people (I had the opportunity to meet them) and they write the best books. I will most definitely have to look into this series. Thanks for the awesome review.



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